Tag: cars

GM First To Test Self Driving Cars In NYC

Chevrolet Self Driving Car New York City

From: General Motors Will Be First Automaker To Test Self-Driving Cars In New York City


General Motors is, arguably, one of the most aggressive companies working towards a fully self-driving car. To assert its position, GM will be the first automaker to test self-driving cars in New York City, reports The Wall Street Journal.

No company has taken to New York City with self-driving dreams in mind, but GM is determined to send a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs to Manhatten next year, via Cruise Automation. Cruise engineers are currently mapping out the area where the cars will undergo testing. For GM as a whole, New York City presents a very different challenge than current test areas.

Companies perform most self-driving car tests on the West coast, specifically in California and Arizona. There, the sun shines more often than not, and winter doesn’t include snow. On the East coast, it’s a very different story, and more traffic and congestion will offer fresh challenges to GM’s self-driving car software.

Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt said New York City will “improve our software at a much faster rate.” “Anyone else who’s driven in New York knows that it’s going to present some unique challenges,” he added.

GM Sets Price On 2014 Chevrolet SS Sedan

2014 Chevrolet SS Sedan Will Be Available At VanDevere In Akron Ohio

Chevrolet SS Sedan Priced at $44,470
Chevy’s new performance sedan comes nearly loaded.  
By: Nick Saporito

Chevrolet announced pricing for the upcoming Holden-derived SS Sedan.  The rear-wheel drive, V-8 Australian car will wear a base price of $44,470 including a $995 destination charge to ship it to the U.S.

There is nothing ‘stripped’ about the SS – there’s only two options available on the car, a sunroof and spare tire.  The lack of optional gear is the product of the SS having just about every modern amenity expected on today’s vehicle, standard.  Chevrolet has gone so far as to make navigation system and automatic park assist standard on the new SS.

Part of that long list of standard features is GM’s well-known 6.2-liter LS3 V-8.  In the SS the LS3 generates a healthy 415 horsepower and 415 foot-pounds of torque, identical to the former Pontiac G8 GXP, the car the SS spiritually succeeds.  The only transmission option is a six-speed automatic.  The Corvette’s Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual gearbox is offered in Australia, as it was on the G8 as well.  It’s unclear why Chevy is not providing the manual option on the new SS, however we speculate it is an effort to keep options and complexity of this import product to a minimum.

Speaking of the G8 GXP, it wore a starting price of $39,995 back in 2009.  Couple the SS’ longer feature list and factor in today’s dollars, the $44,470 price is not terribly shocking.

The 2014 SS will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013 and The VanDevere Bunch can help you get into one as soon as they become available.

Helpful Tips For The Perfect Summer Road Trip

Summer Road Trip Tips - VanDevere Bunch Akron Ohio

5 Tips for the Perfect Summer Road Trip

Summer has practically become synonymous with road trips, both as a way to save money on airfare and to have some fun-filled adventures on the road. Whether you’re traveling with a minivan full of kids or you’re taking a trip up the coast with your girlfriends, here are five top tips from travel bloggers to help ensure a road trip to remember.

Bring a Paper Map

Before you see the dreaded “no service” pop up on your smartphone, which will keep MapQuest or Siri from getting you where you need to go, make sure to bring along a paper map or a print-out from your go-to site for directions, just in case. Marissa Willman of His & Her Travels admits that maps are “old fashioned,” but she says, “you’ll definitely appreciate the back-up if your travel tech fails you on the open road. After the trip, you can always get crafty and turn those maps into coasters or add them into scrapbooking pages.”

Juice Up Your Go-To Gadgets

We all have our must-bring gadgets for road trips, like smartphones and tablets, but don’t forget the accessories that go along with them, like the iGo Power Trip, which lets you power up your cell phone, digital camera, or iPad from wherever you are. Another must-have is a universal car inverter to keep laptops and DVD players juiced since they often don’t hold more than two to three hours of battery power. Also, grab a headphone splitter so two can share the audio of a DVD and a Stashcord to keep earbuds tangle-free.

Don’t Forget Plates, Bowls, and Utensils

Just because you’re away from your home—and your kitchen—doesn’t mean you need to eat fast food or camp out in restaurants at meal times. Laura Walker of A Wandering Sole suggests bringing along plates, bowls, napkins, and utensils, then taking short excursions to the grocery store for foods you can easily prep on your own, like sandwiches and salads (be sure to bring a cooler, too). Even picking up oatmeal packets and cereal bars is better than getting mini donuts for breakfast at a gas station, and it’s a lot healthier and economical, too.

App Up Your Phone

There are so many apps out there that are lifesavers, as well as fun-makers, to have on road trips. iExit is a great one since it shows gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores at upcoming exits on the interstate, suggests Karon Clark Warren of All Things Lifestyle. Or, check out the Roadside America app for quirky roadside attractions or Roadside Presidents for help finding historical landmarks on your journey. Need a bathroom (ahem, a clean one)? Then, grab the free SitOrSquat app. How about WiFi access? Then, get WiFi Finder, which will tell you the location of the closest WiFi hotspot.

Set Expectations

When traveling with a group, whether beloved family members or favorite friends, rendezvous beforehand (in-person or on the phone) to talk about what each person wants to do and see in order to manage expectations during the trip. Laurence Norah of Finding the Universe suggests such a pre-trip pow-wow in order to avoid potential tensions that may arise when visiting the “97th giant ball of twine the driver wants to see.” Also, be flexible to ensure everyone in the car has a good time and gets to do many of the things they want to along the way.